The sun is shining in L.A. this July--and it's warming up the local startup scene.
Los Angeles is home to a rising startup cultural scene that will only continue to grow healthily as a third hub for early-stage activity on the West Coast, along with Silicon Valley and Seattle.
I had time over a wonderful Fourth of July weekend in Santa Monica to catch up with entrepreneurs, angels, and VC friends of mine in L.A. to get their feedback on why Silicon Beach is rising rapidly.
A Cluster for Media and Entertainment
Startup communities often begin and thrive in places that are centers of particular industries. Like New York, which began its startup rise as a hub for early stage financial technology and advertising companies, Los Angeles is the world's hub for media and entertainment. Startups in these fields have the opportunity to partner with the top of the industry and have created the backbone of a strong entrepreneurial culture. Now, that culture is expanding to other focus areas.
A Lifestyle Hub for Talent
People want to live in Los Angeles. Like New York and San Francisco-Silicon Valley, the Los Angeles region is a destination for many millennial and Generation Y individuals seeking to plant roots and make their way in the world. As startups continue to draw more and more people ages 25-40 into their orbit, those individuals' desire to live and work in Los Angeles is drawing companies to the market.
Interestingly, Los Angeles is also becoming a significant hub for remote technology talent - at the highest pay levels. For many companies seeking top-notch, US based tech talent to oversee or augment either in-office or remote teams, many of those individuals prefer the Los Angeles lifestyle and are willing to work remotely and negotiate a commiserate pay package to live there - even if the company is not based in LA. Because LA is a short 45-minute flight from the Valley and only one hour and a half from Seattle, it is ideally suited to play this role.
Expanding to New Industries and with New Investors
The scene is now attracting strong new investors as well. Techstars recently opened a new partnership with Cedar Hospital, attracting talented startups to a local, branded medically-focused accelerator program. Boost VC has begun backing companies in the area and my own syndicate, Gaingels, is opening a Los Angeles chapter, just to name a few.
Over time, these trends look like they will only continue to get stronger, boosting LA's status as a regional hub for strong startups.